Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Blessed Are You If You Act On My Word

By Beth DeCristofaro

"From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.  John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; and as John was completing his course, he would say, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.  Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’” (Acts 13:23-25)

When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it."  (John 13:16-17)

Risen Jesus,
My heart sings of your goodness and I am in awe
of how you have graced all of our lives
with greater dignity and the wonder of rebirth.
You have given me an example with your life
and mission me to receive those you place into my day
with dignity, service and love.
In my Easter joy, I find the courage to say Yes.
Help me to receive the ones you send to me
so that I might receive you.         

Several years ago, I made a Lenten “retreat” by walking around a beautiful, local lake with reflections and prayers that I said at intervals.  Walking meditation is one of my favorite ways to spend time with Jesus although, at the beach, I become easily distracted by the effortless glide of pelicans along the tips of the waves.  Then it becomes a moment of gratitude for God’s infinite and delightful gifts of nature. 

Pilgrimages exist in all major religions and, of course, we share sacred sites such as Jerusalem.  As Jesus washes the feet of the disciples he models servant leadership to them.  John the Baptist’s words, spoken by Peter echo Jesus’ frequent message that He is not greater than God but is sent by the Father and the Truth He speaks emanates also from the Father.  Jesus challenges his apostles to continue his journey of extend the Word to the ends of the earth.  Jesus’ actions challenge us to rethink our feet, our hands, our eyes.  As we were given life eternal through His resurrection and are washed to new life in Baptism we need to act upon the challenges and the promises Jesus entrusted to us.

In Nepal, survivors of the earthquake are walking to outlying, remote villages, making pilgrimages to bring help.  Last weekend people marched for marriage and today in many American cities they are peacefully walking in protest against racial injustice.  How might my feet carry me today to proclaim the Word?  

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